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NKySteeler
08-05-2008, 06:36 PM
Moore always looking to do more
By TERESA VARLEY
Assistant Editor

Talk to running back Mewelde Moore even briefly and his personality bubbles to the surface, and it’s that of a proud, hard-working man who absolutely loves what he’s
doing.

And so far at his first training camp with the Steelers, what he is doing is just about everything. At various times during a typical practice, Moore is a third-down back, a
punt returner, a kickoff returner and the No. 3 guy in line at tailback behind Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall.

“When you understand what you have to do and you’re a professional about it, you put all of your selfish stuff aside and just do your job,” said Moore. “Being in the NFL is a
privilege, and being able to have this privilege, you want to take advantage of the opportunity given to you.”

Moore signed with the Steelers this offseason after playing the previous four years with the Minnesota Vikings. How he performed his duties there was the reason the Steelers
sought his services here, and in short order the team released Najeh Davenport to make him the primary third-down back.

But even with this particular bit of job security, Moore’s personality won’t allow him to do anything but keep on pushing.

“At the end of the day you should always prepare yourself to be the No. 1 guy,” said Moore. “You never know what might or might not happen. Competition is always great,
and you have to approach it that way. Even if you shoot for the stars and fall short you’ll land on a cloud.”

Moore definitely has reached for those stars. He is a guy who came from a tough neighborhood in Baton Rouge, where drive-by shootings and gang activity were commonplace. Moore focused on sports and his education, and it paid off with a ticket out of that environment.

Moore had options after being selected by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft in 2000. He spent three summers with the organization
while he also was enrolled at Tulane, where he became only the second player in NCAA history to rush for 4,000 yards and catch passes for 2,000 yards and ultimately graduated with a double major in finance and accounting.

Obviously, this isn’t a guy who is satisfied with simply getting by. “Every day all day I am out there trying to prove myself,” said Moore. “You always come out and want to be the best every day. I am a bit of a perfectionist. If something doesn’t go right I’m upset at myself and always trying to find stuff I need to work on.”

His decision to sign with the Steelers was definitely influenced by Mike Tomlin being the team’s coach. Tomlin was the Vikings defensive coordinator for a season while Moore was there, and he relished the chance to play for him.

“He was a huge reason why I came here,” said Moore. “Going to a new place you want to have a relationship with someone, and I had one with coach Tomlin. That made it a lot easier for me to transition here. I know what he is like and that made me want to play for him. He is straight-forward, passionate about daily tasks.”

Moore credits some of his success to his older brother Jerry, who played football at Louisiana Tech. Big brother started working with him as early as sixth grade, but really
kicked things into overdrive when Moore entered high school and his potential started to show. Jerry would talk to Mewelde about conditioning and lifting weights, and soon they were doing it side by side.

Once Moore hit the NFL, the brotherly workouts intensified. He would take part in the Vikings’ coaching sessions and OTAs, but when the six-week break before training camp arrived in mid-June it was time for Mewelde and Jerry to get to work.

“We have been competing since we’ve been kids,” said Moore. “He gets in the weight room and competes with me. We get out and run and he is out there being a competitor
as well, driving me to do some of the things to make me be successful on the field. He kills me, but he toughened me up when I was little.”

Jerry has about 80 pounds on his younger brother, so that provides his edge in the weight room, but when it comes to speed, Mewelde comes out on top and lets his brother know it.

“I’m the one who acts like I haven’t been there before,” said Moore. “I’m the younger brother, what do you expect? Any chance I get to beat my older brother I am excited about it. He’s low-key, just goes about it like that’s what older brothers do. I don’t rub it in his face, but I will scream out and be excited about it.”

While they do continue to train together, there is one thing that has been put on hold — the wrestling matches the two loved as kids. “At this point in time in my career I don’t want to do anything where I have him fall on me or pin me or something and have to sit out for a few weeks,” laughed Moore. “We are a lot smarter when we wrestle. We have to limit it and wait until I’m done playing. Then we’ll get back to the old arm wrestling
and roughing around on the carpet. “I got the wind knocked out of me a couple of times and have been pinned up a lot. There is a rule that big brothers live by, never hurt the
little brother. Make them feel pain, but never hurt them. I felt the pain a lot but he never hurt me.”

No pain, no gain.